Boston, MA (PRWEB) July 23, 2014
Adult stem cells that are required for regenerative medicine transplant therapies are biological, but not magical. However, many current regenerative medicine clinical trials may seem to treat them as if they were magical.
Many current clinical trials, as well as unsanctioned studies that constitute “stem cell tourism,” are evaluating heterologous tissue stem cell transplantation as an approach to developing new regenerative medicine therapies. In reality, these are not regenerative therapies, because in these clinical settings multiplication of the transferred cells is not desirable at all. They are expected to provide a therapeutic effect by way of other properties that do not require their multiplication, which is the basis for the moniker “regenerative.”
Paradoxically, some companies developing heterologous stem cell therapies state that the transplanted cells will eventually be cleared from the body (e.g., Athersys). A therapy with an expected endpoint of no stem cells remaining is not a “stem cell” therapy.
Instead of regenerating diseased and injured tissues by virtue of their specialized multiplication, the heterologous cells are being employed for envisioned general repair properties. Again, ironically, there is no good biological rationale to expect that functionally immature adult stem cells will have repair capabilities. However, they might produce progeny cells with such functions, but this would require their multiplication. These appear to be quite an inconsistent muddle of rationalizations.
The seemingly magical attitude taken by companies, investigators, and physicians pursuing these heterologous transplant therapies is
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